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27Aug

Greetings!

Following a recent trip to Canada we’re enjoying a bag of West Coast Select Beef Jerky picked up at the airport duty free shop in Calgary, Alberta.

West Cost Select Beef Jerky

West Cost Select Beef Jerky

We’re all about exploring the local flavors so this little bag of jerky was a welcome find.  West Coast Select is the beef jerky brand of Sundance Seafood Ltd. in Surrey, British Columbia.  They offer an interesting range of salmon – smoked, canned, frozen, etc. – as well as a pair of beef jerky flavors. With their focus on fish, does their cow-based snack do the job?  Let’s see what you get with this one:

Taste (B):  This is a really salty jerky.  It’s good and really brings out the flavor of the beef, but it is still quite potent.  There’s a complementary sweetness in the mix, too; some sugar and molasses that blend well and help to take a bit of the edge off of the saltiness.  A bit of smoke flavor rounds it all out and, in the end, it tastes pretty good!  It’s not a particularly complex flavor all told.  If you’re into salty you’ll really take to this one.

Texture (B+):  A dry but pliable jerky, the pieces are cut along the grain and tear easily either by hand or teeth.  It’s easy to chew and the meat has a quality feel to it.  Your mouth will like it.

Smell (B):  With a smoky scent that’s both simple and mild, this jerky smells nice.  That’s about it though.

Appearance (B+):  The pieces are generally small with straight-edge cuts and have a medium color with slight red highlights here and there.  They look every bit the quick and tempting snack bites they are.  This jerky looks nice and appetizing.

Consistency (A-):  Bite for bite this jerky is quite well made.  The moisture is consistent, and the salty and slightly smoky-sweet flavor holds true throughout the bag.  The pieces are uniformly thick and the meat is well trimmed.  The Sundance folks make a quality product with clear attention to ensuring that every bite is a good one.  Well done!

Overall Impression (B):  This is a solidly tasty jerky from our friends in BC.  The jerky is wildly salty in a delicious way and is made with the sort of attention to quality that really makes eating it quite a joy.  It’s nothing fancy, just a straightforwardly tasty treat.  So if you find yourself in the Great White North and run across a bag feel confident in picking up a bag and digging in.  It’s a good eat.  Enjoy!

17Jul

Howdy, friends!

Today we’re tearing into a few pieces of Dussa’s Ham and Cheese Ltd’s Beef Jerky, purchased at their delicatessen counter store in the Granville Island Public Market in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Dussa's Ham and Cheese Ltd's Beef Jerky

Dussa’s Ham and Cheese Ltd’s Beef Jerky

We had a great time at the the Public Market.  There was a cornucopia of fresh produce, baked goods, cheeses and, of course, meats!  Dussa’s selection of cheese was quite extensive but their assortment of jerky was respectable, but not excessive by any means.  From comments overheard while standing in line it seems they make some of their own meats and source others from area meat-wizards who likely sell to one or more of the Market’s meat vendors.  While the Dussa’s beef jerky bore a striking similarity to the beef jerky we picked up from the counter across the way at Armando’s Quality Meats we purchased a sample anyway to see what we could see.  While their similarities are significant, they thankfully aren’t quite the same, so it was the proper thing to do to conduct a thorough review of Dussa’s wares.  Is their meat as tasty as their neighbors?  Let’s see what you get with this one:

Taste (A-):  This is a simply seasoned jerky that takes the already delicious piece of beef and carefully enhances it’s flavor without trying to distract you with flash or gimmicks.  It starts with a general saltiness that’s a bit strong, but not overbearing.   There’s a bit of a peppery flavor in there too, but just barely.  And that’s about it.  It’s a straight-up tasty, old fashioned beef jerky and it’s fantastic!

Texture (A):  This is really great meat.  It’s a comparatively moist and tender jerky.  There’s no difficulty in tearing off your bite and, while it’s substantial enough to require some effort, it breaks down quickly and is easy to chew.  The pieces are large and cut along the grain so it tears with great ease, too.  It’s just a terrific, quality jerky.

Smell (B):  First, you smell the beef.  It’s meaty and savory.  Then you smell… the beef, with a slightly salty scent that makes that beef smell even just that much more enticing.  It’s simplicity.  It’s done right.

Appearance (A):  With the large, thinly cut cut pieces, this jerky looks really good.  The meat is cut along the grain and sports a dark brown color with a subtle reddish undertone.  It has a slight sheen, but only slight, that brings out the texture of the meat.  It looks every bit as fantastic as it tastes.

Consistency (A):  This is a fantastically well-made jerky.  The thickness of the pieces is uniform throughout.  The moisture and tenderness of the meat is also exactingly done.  From bite to bite the salty-meaty goodness holds true and you can clearly tell that this jerky was made with a deep understanding of how to do it right.  It’s an exacting example of how to make great jerky.

Overall Impression (A-):   This is a seriously good jerky.  Simple.  No frills.  Exceptional.  There’s a special joy to be found in beef jerky that is first and foremost about the beef.  The folks at Dussa’s have given us just that.  It’s beef, elevated to even greater heights, with a careful brine and a lot of TLC.  This is yet another reason to find your way to the Granville Island Public Market the next time your meat tooth starts to itch.  Swing by the deli counter at Dussa’s Ham and Cheese, Ltd. and sample some of this fine beef jerky.  Enjoy!

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